Thursday, June 9, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Grandma Donna's 1930s Text Book

Donna Madsen
school photo
A couple of weekends ago, my mom shared with me a HUGE collection of family photos and documents, many that I'd never seen before. For some reason, I also thought that she had some hand-written recipe cards from her mom and grandmothers, but I was mistaken. My query must have jarred her memory, though, because she disappeared into her garage for a little while and then came out with an envelope containing something I never expected to see: my Grandma Donna's circa 1935 high school home economics text book. It's in tatters, and the cover is missing, but the real treasure is inside. In addition to the text and lessons that were included in the book there are my grandma's handwritten notes, including a bunch of recipes!

Here are a few of the pages that caught my eye:

 This is the first page of the book. The cover is missing.

Rules for Work (below) 
Always have clean apron
Wash hand
Study recipe
Get utensils
Get supplies, measure accurately
Work quietly
Set table
Serve food
Stack dishes
Wash dishes
Leave kitchen in order
My mom and I had a good laugh over "Work quietly" -- nobody in our family ever mastered that rule.

 Coffee experiments

 Table Manners
(I love "Make the meal a pleasant one.
Do not talk about disagreeable subjects or your troubles.")

Recipe for Mayonnaise Cake
(in Grandma Donna's own handwriting)
Recipe for Mayonnaise Cake,
in Grandma Donna's writing
Lesson on "Food Nutrients"

You can see just how fragile the book is. It kind of scares me to handle it...

As I mentioned before, there are a whole bunch of recipes in this book that were written in Grandma Donna's hand. You can bet that some of these recipe's will be popping up in my upcoming "Family Recipe Friday" posts.


  1. That was fun to read, Wendy. Thanks for the memories. Love, MOM

  2. Thanks for sharing everything with me, Mom!!